Getting to and from school for students with disability

Our site also has specific information about different disabilities.

​If your child goes to a specialist school or special setting you may get extra help with their travel. This is called the Students with Disabilities Transport Program. The program includes:

Who can apply

To apply for help under the Students with Disabilities Transport program your child must:

  • meet the criteria for the Program for Students with Disabilities
  • live in the designated transport area of their specialist school. Talk to your child’s school about this
  • be enrolled at the school for three or more days each week.

How to apply

Complete the application form and give it to your child’s school.  You can also ask the school to complete the form for you. 

SDTP Application for Transport Assistance (docx - 63.14kb)

You and your child must agree to the conditions of travel listed on this form.  These cover:

  • your child’s behaviour while travelling
  • what will happen if your child does not comply
  • what disciplinary action the principal will take
  • your responsibilities.

Help with travel costs

If your child travels independently to and from a specialist school, we may help with the cost of their travel on public transport. This is called the conveyance allowance.

The conveyance allowance is a contribution towards travel costs. It does not cover the full cost of your child’s travel to and from school.

Special consideration for help with travel costs

If your child does not meet the criteria for the Students with Disabilities Transport Program or the Conveyance Allowance, you can apply for special case transport consideration.  You must apply through your child’s school.

Your application may need to be reviewed by an independent panel called the Transport Special Case Consideration Panel. The panel meets every month during term 1 and once a term after that. You will not get help with transport until this panel has reached a decision. In most cases your school will be able to let you know the outcome within 15 working days.

The panel will not consider applications about:

  • financial hardship
  • the relationship circumstances of your family
  • the school arrangements of your child’s siblings
  • if your child lives outsides the school’s designated transport area
  • if a change in residential address changes the transport options that were previously received or preferred
  • personal preferences. 

Specialist school transport service

A mainstream bus may not be suitable for your child. We provide bus services to and from government specialist schools. You can talk to the school about your child’s needs.

School taxis

Your child may need to use a taxi instead of the bus service.  This may be because the school bus does not cover your area.

We look at each application for a school taxi on a case-by-case basis.

Your child will not be supervised when they travel in a school taxi. If your child needs supervision they will not be eligible for a school taxi.

All applications for school taxis must be approved by our Student Transport Unit. Talk to your child’s school about this.

School buses in regional Victoria

Your child may be able to use the mainstream School Bus Program or public transport services. These services provides transport for students at government and non-government schools in rural and regional Victoria.

Your child must be able to travel independently. Other than the bus driver, there is no supervision on the buses or at interchange points.

You should talk to your school about these services.

Travel training for students with disability

Being able to travel independently can increase your child’s confidence and prepare them for future employment, study and social opportunities.

The Travel Education Framework is a program for students with disability at specialist schools, from upper primary to year 12. It can give your child the skills they need to travel independently between home and school on public transport.

The program covers:

  • planning and preparing to travel
  • using public transport
  • how to behave on public transport
  • staying safe and managing unexpected situations.

Your school may put your child forward for the program. You can also speak to the school if you or your child feels they’re ready to travel independently.

Your child’s travel and the NDIS

If your child gets support under the Students with Disabilities Transport Program nothing will change until at least 2023. We’ll continue to fund and provide the program until then.

If your child is an NDIS participant, school transport should be in your child’s NDIS plan. The amount that’s listed is the same for all students. It’s not the actual cost of the transport service your child gets. Your child’s other NDIS support will not be affected.

You cannot use the money in your child’s plan for a different transport provider.

If your child is an NDIS participant and does not use the Students with Disabilities Transport Program, talk to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) about how they may help your child get to and from school.

We’re working with the NDIA to confirm how students with disabilities will get school transport in the future.